Smile Politely

Fall Semester Showdown profile: Butterfly Assassins

Well, this is no longer very timely, but Butterfly Assassins was among the Fall Semester Showdown bands to which we sent interview questions. They responded in a timely manner, but I (Joel) completely dropped the ball.

So, we’re running the interview now, which doesn’t do much for their efforts to promote their appearance, which is now irrefutably in the past, but it will hopefully give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the local quintet.


“The Charge” by Butterfly Assassins

Smile Politely: How would you describe your sound to a person who you don’t think will like your music?

Butterfly Assassins: That’s a tough one. Personally, I’m guilty of changing my answer depending on who I’m talking to. I would probably just try to convince this person that we sound like his or her favorite band. Often times, simply telling people our name is enough to make up their mind one way or the other.

Smile Politely: Is there anything your music has been compared to that you don’t particularly agree with?

Butterfly Assassins: We played a 4th of July festival and a guy in jean cutoffs said we sounded like Kansas.

Smile Politely: Are there any non-musical influences that one might not expect?

Butterfly Assassins: Being so far away from each other for 10 months out of the year somehow makes us tighter when we get together and play. I’m not exactly sure how that works but it definitely seems to be an influence.

Smile Politely: What are the primary factors/influences/motivations that keep you doing what you’re doing?

Butterfly Assassins: Burl Ives said it best in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special: Fame and fortune.

Smile Politely: What is the best (or worst) thing happening in music today (either local, national or international)?

Butterfly Assassins: Not to say that this hasn’t been happening all along, but music today borrows so much from everything else (other music, art, culture). New records all seem to be remixing other ideas to create something new and wonderful. The Internet is an incredible part of this phenomenon, allowing information to travel all the more quickly and make its way into the hands of artists and music enthusiasts even faster. I think we live in a very inspiring time period to create and be apart of the music world.

Smile Politely: Tell us about the worst show you have ever played.

Butterfly Assassins: I don’t know if we have a go-to “worst” show. Once we played a benefit show in a Wal-Mart parking lot opening for a Beatles cover band whose oldest member was 14 years old. I guess they had established notoriety as the youngest Beatles cover band in the world. The sound system provided by the cover band was powered by one generator that would shut off about two minutes into every one of our songs. It got to the point where it was sort of hilarious. I remember stopping and then picking up exactly where we left off once the power came back on, sort of like a play/pause button. We probably only made it through about half of our set.

Smile Politely: What do you have coming up on the horizon?

Butterfly Assassins: Internet-only EP! Isn’t that what every band has on the horizon these days? But seriously, since we all attend separate schools it’s very difficult to write and record new material. We have a few songs on the docket that we’re aiming to record over winter break and hopefully make available online sometime during the spring semester.

Smile Politely: What can people expect from your live show that differs from what is available from your MySpace?

Butterfly Assassins: Raw emotion. We’ve been together so long that there’s a chemistry between us that really comes out when we perform live. Usually no matter what is going on before or after the show-no matter what is going wrong (and it’s always something)-we always manage to find our groove. Also, Brian is a silly front man.

Smile Politely: Anything else you want to emphasize or get off your chest?

Butterfly Assassins: I know for a fact that two of our members are having difficulty getting their own gear to the show this weekend at the Canopy Club, so thank you in advance to whoever we borrow equipment from. These two members will definitely be scolded. Also, we really appreciate the people who come and support us at shows whether they like the band or not.

Butterfly Assassins – Sylvia II from Christopher Amos on Vimeo.

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